a year of firsts


A year ago we bought tickets. We knew a date we would go to the embassy to bring you home. It has almost been a year since you were placed back into our arms. Almost a year. Crazy.

{Charlie, at Hannah's Hope, March 3, 2012}
I have loved this year of firsts with you. There are the obvious ones:

diaper; plane ride; air port restaurant; doctor's appointment; car seat experience; meeting the rest of the fam; solid food; sippy cup; sleeping through the night; steps; drop off at the sitter; trip to the ER; walking; running

You get the picture. There have been a lot of first this year. Here are some of my favorites:

The first time. . .

-we heard your voice, outside of screaming. You began babbling on the way back to the hotel from our Embassy appointment.
-we went a day without screaming in fear/terror/despair/unknown
-your hug was real. You put pressure into wrapping your arms around me.
-your body didn't stiffen in anger as I held you.
-you called me Mama. Followed by the first time you called me Mama and knew I was your Mama.
-you woke up in the night and you were not searching, wondering where you were.
-you gave a kiss.
-you felt safe enough to sleep through the night.
-your face lit up when you heard Dada coming home from work.
-you smiled when you saw Dada or myself in your room in the morning.
-you reached for one of us for comfort.

Charlie, there have been so many sweet, as well as bittersweet, firsts this year. I cherish these firsts. I cannot wait for all of the firsts yet to come.



first mini-vacation


So since you have come home, we have stuck pretty close to home. We have done some day trips, but you have slept in your bed every night since we first put you into it almost a year ago. (Yes, you have been home almost a year. We have less than a month until March 4!!! Yes, for some reason in my head the year mark is a SUPER big deal.)

So, last month your Dada and I bought tickets for a Justin Roberts concert. As we talked, we realized this would be a great opportunity to have you spend the night somewhere else. (Yes, we could have stayed with family for the first time away, but then Joey would have been super sad about not getting to go. He doesn't do well away from home. This way Joey spent time at the spa and didn't have to hear about all the fun you had at some member of the fam's house without him.) Plus, we booked our vacation last month/end of December and knew we would need to practice staying away from home a couple of times. (For some reason we have airline miles. We thought we should use them.)

So back to your first mini-vacation. We went to see Justin Roberts perform at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Here's what the trip looked like.

Riding the in car to Chicago.

Yoda used the force. . .

The view from our first seats. . . We were about 6 or 7 rows back.
Waiting for the concert to begin. We rocked this.
Where we actually saw the concert. The balcony, last row, standing. You might have started screaming during the first song. You didn't like others singing with Justin. It was A LOT to take in. We moved. We did better in the last row possible.
Meeting Justin afterwards.
So on the way to the hotel, we stopped and got some books. (We needed to kill time before check-in.) After checking-in, we left for an early dinner (you hadn't napped, so we knew the window before melt-down was getting smaller.) Well, you fell asleep in the car and Mama and Dada went through Portillo's and took food back to the hotel.

One of your favorite ways to sleep. 
Getting ready for the pool.
You slept the whole way home. Here we are getting back into town and you were just starting to wake-up.




So it snowed last night. I know it has snowed a couple of times already, but you haven't actually played in the snow. It has been too cold, too dark, or just crazy when we have previously had snow. Well today, you finally got to play in snow for the first time.

You were not a fan of getting into your snow pants, but once they were on you were asking for your coat, hat, and shoes. (BTW- You really don't like gloves. We have only gotten them on you, where they have stayed on three times.)

Dada carried you out into the yard and this is what you looked like when he put you down. . . I call this your "Why is the ground white? I can't move in all of this stuff." look.
 The "Okay, this isn't so bad smile."
 "I can throw this stuff?!?!?!?!?"
The "Why do I have to go inside?" look.
I am so glad you got to play in snow Charlie!!!!